Pasta with Fried Lemons and Chili Flakes

Pasta with Fried Lemons & Chile Flakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemons, lemons and more lemons! If you are a lemon lover this recipe is for you.

Diner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark

Ingredients
• 4 lemons
• 1 pound linguine or spaghetti
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzle
• Pinch of sugar
• 3 tbsp unsalted butter
• ¾ tsp chili flakes. More to taste
• 2/3 cup parmigiana-reggiano cheese, plus more to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• ½ cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)
• 1/3 cup parsley, coarsely chopped (optional)
• Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Assembly
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. Zest finely 2 lemons and set aside.
3. Trim the top and bottom off the other two lemons and cut lengthwise into quarters and remove any seeds.
4. Thinly slice the quarters into triangles and blanch lemon pieces in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Then transfer using a slotted spoon to a paper towel to dry.
5. In the same boiling water add pasta and cook until al dente.
6. Drain water; but reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
7. Using a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat.
8. Add the dried lemon pieces and season with a pinch of salt and sugar.
9. Cook until the lemons are caramelized, for 3 to 5 minutes and then transfer to a plate.
10. Over medium heat melt butter in the leftover oil and add the chili flakes and lemon zest of both lemons until fragrant.
11. Whisk in the reserved pasta water.
12. Toss in pasta, the juice of one lemon, cheese, black pepper and the remaining salt.
13. Cook until pasta is coated with sauce and add in the caramelized lemon.
14. Add celery leaves and parsley if desired.
15. Taste and add more lemon juice, drizzle olive oil and cheese if desired.
16. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I wasn’t a fan of this recipe. The caramelized lemons and the lemon zest, lemon water, lemon juice. It was all too much lemon for me. I could handle almost all that lemon except the caramelized lemon. All I could taste was lemon rind, so I took that out and enjoyed the dish a little more. The combination of black pepper, chilli flakes and cheese and lemon; this mixture had a tendency to clump together and not be

Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio - Candy Coated Culinista

Chicken Vesuvio – Candy Coated Culinista

When I heard of a dish called Chicken Vesuvio, I immediately assumed this was an Italian dish because of the name. To me it seems derived from Mount Vesuvius the volcano that erupted back in 79 AD and destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. Well upon further research this Greek mythology, architecture and history buff was wrong, Chicken Vesuvio is a speciality of Chicago and is an Italian-American dish.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 45 – 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• 2 cartilage in chicken breasts
• 2 large red skinned potatoes, cut into wedges
• Rosemary, finely diced
• oregano, finely diced
• dill, finely diced
• parsley, finely diced
• thyme, finely diced
• ½ a small red onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
• 2 tbsp all purpose flour
• Low sodium chicken broth
• 1/3 cup frozen peas

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
2. Season chicken with spices and then using a cast iron skillet, pour some extra virgin olive oil in over medium-high heat.
3. Sear all sides of the chicken breast and turn off heat.
4. Cut the potatoes in wedges and coat with the fresh herbs.
5. Place potato wedges around the chicken breasts and cook in oven for 45 minutes.
6. Transfer chicken and potatoes to a plate.
7. Add onion and garlic to the skillet oven medium-heat to soften.
8. Using a wooden spoon scrape the flavour from the bottom on the skillet.
9. Stir in the flour to make a roux.
10. Slowly add in the chicken broth letting the flour dissolve to your preferred gravy consistency.
11. Add wine if desired.
12. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes and frozen peas.
13. Add chicken and potatoes back into the skillet and let simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Sometimes I am on a real cooking streak and everything I make just comes out smashingly. This one after I made it I was actually considering making it again the same week; because it was that good. The chicken was moist and juicy, the potatoes were firm and savoury with the fresh herbs and a scratch gravy turned out most excellent again (Thanks Chuck). I will be making this for dinner when I have guests as it a simple yet classy sophisticated dish.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs – Candy Coated Culinista

My love of photography and Toronto has rewarded me. I love my city and I am constantly exploring it no matter the time or weather conditions. One very early morning on the way to work it must have been -27 this December morning and I saw a gingerbread “Toronto scape” presented by KitchenAid Canada. It was gingerbread pieces made by local bakery The Rolling Pin to resemble Toronto buildings. I took the picture, because that’s what I do and I used the hashtag made from gingerbread not knowing I had entered myself into a contest of sorts. Cut to me receiving a DM that I won a Professional 5 Series Mixer & Spiralizer and after answer a skill-testing question correctly these babies where shipped to me. I can’t wait to give my new mixer a try as this one is bigger than my other KitchenAid Custom series mixer and I will not have to bake in batches anymore; which will save me time or I can start making multi flavoured layered cakes and mix at the same time. I was over the moon with excitement when I found out I won this awesome prize and I have many more recipes in mind for my new toys and also a request for apple pie using my gadgets.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Inspired from Williams & Sonoma

Ingredients
Tomato Sauce

• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
Meatballs
• 500g ground turkey
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp paprika
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• ¼ small red onion, diced
• 1 cup panko bread crumbs
• 2 eggs
• 1 large zucchini, trimmed and spiralized
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Eggplant Ragu
• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 red onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fresh parsley
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp fresh oregano
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ¼ green pepper, finely diced
• ¼ red pepper, finely diced
• 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
• 2 cups tomato sauce
• 1 eggplant, cut into cubes

Assembly
Tomato Sauce

1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar and add tomato sauce.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat to simmer.
Meatballs
1. Place ground turkey in a large bowl and add garlic, herbs, spices, Worcestershire sauce, red onion, bread crumbs, eggs and spiralized zucchini.
2. Combined and form into meatballs.
3. In a frying pan over medium-high heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
4. Sear meatballs on all sides in batches; about 1 minute per side.
5. Transfer meatballs to tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add zucchini to pan and cook for no more than 4 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
Eggplant Ragu (Vegan Option)
1. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat warm extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add onion and cloves and sauté until translucent.
3. Season with herbs and spices.
4. Add green, red peppers, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce and eggplant.
5. Let flavours merry and turn temperature to low heat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was beyond excited to use my spiralizer and it couldn’t be any easier to use. The zucchini was spiraled and crunchy and it makes a wonderful substitute if you don’t want to have carbohydrates. The turkey zucchini meatballs were so lovely that I think this will be a new way for me to enjoy meatballs. I will still make my Italian style meatballs; but this is now a healthier alternative for me. The eggplant ragu came about when I thought to take this recipe one step further and make a meatless vegan recipe. I have always been of the mindset that if I could prepare tasty and flavourful vegetarian and vegan recipes I could increase my meatless days to about three days a week and if I can make recipes like this it would be a no brainer. Also if you have an audience that you think would question the whole zucchini spaghetti, then serve the turkey meatballs with spaghetti pasta instead. These few recipes can be combined in different ways and it’s still just as memorable.

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu - Candy Coated Culinista

Zucchini Spaghetti and Eggplant Ragu – Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape - Candy Coated Culinista

KitchenAid Gingerbread Scape – Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer - Candy Coated Culinista

Mixer & Spiralizer – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: Jamie’s Italian

Jamie's Italian - Candy Coated Culinista

Jamie’s Italian – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 3401 Dufferin St.; Toronto, Ontario, M6A 2T9 (Yorkdale Mall)
Phone Number: 416-238-7450

Way back on October 19th 2012 I was sitting in Massey Hall listening to my first Cooking inspiration Jamie Oliver speak (see blog post). I left with very high hopes that one day a restaurant of his would make it to Canada; as he did say when asked by another fan that I’m paraphrasing of course “that if I could bring one of my restaurants to Canada it would be Jamie’s Italian as it would work best here; because of its regimented menu that could be moved to a Canadian market easily.” Well it’s been 3 years 1 month and 19 days and he stuck to his word. Jamie’s Italian is now open in Yorkdale Mall and the moment reservations were up I knew I was going to make this my birthday meal in January and I excitedly made reservations.

For my birthday dinner I had: Antipasti – Garlic Bread With oozy garlic & herb butter; Pasta – Pasta Vongole Tagliolini -Steamed sweet clams with garlic, chilli, white wine, capers, parsley & lemon; Main – Burger Italiano Chargrilled beef burger with melted fontina cheese, crispy schiacciata piccante, gherkins, chilli, crispy fried onions& salsa rosso crudo; Non-Alcoholic Cocktail – Refresher Fresh lemon juice, elderflower cordial & cranberry juice, topped with lemonade.

The food was great and if you love garlic and chillis; which is Jamie’s thing then this is your menu. I found the pasty spicy of course; but it was tasty and the garlic bread was butter goodness. The server quipped to be careful that those were pickles on the burger but chilli’s as another customer didn’t realize and mistook them for pickles. Yiikes. . This is one the few restaurants where I can say the staff from beginning to end were super friendly and knowledgeable. Also they were using a POS system that was on an electronic device much like an Ipad which made the whole experience sleek, cool and fast. Two can dine for about 60$ including dessert

The spirit of the menu is those things I attribute to Jamie and even Gennaro one of his mentors. His food has always been simple easy and uncomplicated; so if you’re expecting something out of this world then you should try another chef’s restaurants. However; if you want rustic, flavourful food that’s something mama would make for you then this is a must visit for you.

Overall the restaurant will fit in nicely with all the other casual dining franchises and restaurants across Toronto, and being located in Yorkdale mall makes it easily accessible throughout the G.T.A. Just make sure to make a reservation or be ready to wait upwards or 45 minutes for a table until the new shine of the first Jamie Oliver restaurant in Canada wears off. I already want to come back for the burger sans chilli’s of course and taste those fries and maybe a dessert next time around.

Jamie's Italian - Candy Coated Culinista

Jamie’s Italian – Candy Coated Culinista

Jamie's Italian - Candy Coated Culinista

Jamie’s Italian – Candy Coated Culinista

Italian Meatballs

C.C's Homemade Italian Meatballs - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C’s Homemade Italian Meatballs – Candy Coated Culinista

I have wanted to make my own meatballs since I tasted homemade meatballs from How Bout Those Meatballs at the T.O. Food Fest. I have visited here two years in a row now and always bring back Mr. C. his own sandwich because it’s just that good. The recipe used is well no particular recipe at all, Sebastien, the owner just makes it with lots of love and it always turns out great. I took this approach when I was making my meatballs as this was my first go at it and I have been so excited to make some meatballs.

Yield/Serving: 30-40 1” sized meatballs
Prep Time: 35 min.
Cook Time: 20-25 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1lb ground beef
• 1 lb ground pork
• 1 lb ground veal
• ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
• ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp season salt
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp chipotle mango seasoning
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp dried rosemary
• 1 tbsp dried thyme
• 1 tbsp dried sage
• 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
• 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
• 6 cloves of garlic, minced
• 4 eggs

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the ground beef, pork and veal until well combined by hand in a large bowl.
3. Using a medium bowl whisk all other ingredients and pour into the ground meat until well incorporated.
4. Shape ground meat into balls and place on a baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tips
• You can freeze the meatballs and save for later.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made these to freeze for future recipes. I usually buy a huge bag of meatballs, but now that I can say mine taste so much better than the store-bought I will be making my own. These meatballs were flavourful; which the store-bought variety lacked and with the cheese inside I really enjoyed them. The hardest thing for me was keeping the meatballs the same size.

Homemade Lasagna

Homemade Lasgna - Candy Coated Culinista

Homemade Lasgna – Candy Coated Culinista

Italian or Greek food is the food I could have every day for the remainder of my life and I’d be quite content. Lasagna is my absolute favourite food and I have tasted it many places. I finally decided to make lasagna from scratch even though I know this is a time-consuming burden. This may be my first and last time making this dish as I may just not want to have to go through this process again.

Yield/Serving: 1 – 9” x 9” dish & 12” x 9” dish
Prep Time: 1hr & 30 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, diced
• 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• 1/3 pound ground beef
• 1/3 pound ground pork
• 1/3 pound ground veal
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp season salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
• 1 tbsp dried basil
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp dried rosemary
• 1 tbsp dried thyme
• 1 tbsp dried sage
• 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
• 5.5 oz (156 ml) tomato paste
• 1 {28 oz} can Whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
• 3 cups ricotta
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 4 cups {16 oz} mozzarella cheese, grated
• 3 cups spinach, blanched
• 3 cups swiss chard, blanched
• 16 Flat “No Boil” Lasagna Noodles

Assembly
Sauce
1. In a large saucepan sauté onion in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until softened.
2. Add in the garlic along with the ground, beef, pork, veal along with all the spices and stir until meat is browned.
3. Add in the tomato paste and crushed San Marzano tomatoes including the tomato sauce from the can. Stir and combine.
4. Reduce to low and let simmer for 45 minutes.
5. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, eggs, parsley and a half cup of parmesan and mozzarella cheese and place in fridge until needed.
6. In another saucepan sauté the spinach and swiss chard for a few minutes and then squeeze out excess water.
Lasagna Assembly
7. Spray a 9”x13” and a 9” x 9” baking or casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 375°F.
8. Spread one cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of the baking pan.
9. Lay four noodles, then add some spinach and Swiss chard and spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles.
10. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce and sprinkle with a half cup of mozzarella cheese.
11. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until you have reached the top.
12. Bake for 30-45 minutes and then let rest for 10 minutes.
13. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
If I had an Italian nonna she would be so proud. My first attempt was a huge success. I used my homemade pasta sauce and everything. I just think I needed more pasta sauce even though I had added a lot, I think it needed more. Also a deeper casserole dish would be great my lasagna. I made one dish of lasagna to freeze as I wasn’t going to make just one and gave it to my dad to enjoy. I really had a sense of accomplishment making my most favourite dish ever.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta - Candy Coated Culinista

Bruschetta – Candy Coated Culinista

I saw these organic tomatoes in purple, yellow and red on my grocery trip and I wanted to find a recipe where I could showcase all these lovely colours.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy,

Ingredients
• 1 baguette
• 30 organic grape tomatoes (purple, yellow & red), sliced into three (each grape)
• ½ small red onion, diced
• Handful basil, chiffonade
• Handful cilantro, chiffonade
• 8 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
• Big pinch of Italian seasoning
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• Goat cheese, crumbled

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Slice baguette on the bias and place on the baking tray and bake until toasted, 5-7 minutes.
3. Prepare tomatoes and herbs and place in a large bowl.
4. Mince garlic and place in a small frying pan over medium-high heat along with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
5. Cook for a minute then pour into bowl and add Italian seasoning and salt, pepper and the crumbled goat cheese into the mixture and combine.
6. Place mixture onto baguette and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a quick and healthy snack that tasted great. I loved the addition of the goat cheese, cilantro and balsamic vinegar. Mixed with the lovely colours of the tomatoes and the lemony smell of the cilantro it tasted divine. I will be making this as a snack or an appetizer more often.

%d bloggers like this: